Woking Yamaha's History
The Early Days (1959)
Continental Motorcycles was founded by Jack Reeder. He’d had a small motorcycle workshop behind a hat shop in Guildford Road, Woking. Having outgrown the space and annoyed the neighbours there he moved to new premises in Chertsey Road at the junction with Boundary Road where ‘Continentals’ was born in 1959.
The Swinging Sixties
The Swinging Sixties
The 60’s were the days of mods and rockers, scooters and motorbikes. Continentals became an agent for Lambretta, Vespa, Zundapp, Maico, Rumi, Dick Dick Demm, Peugeot, Puch, N.S.U. and also Honda. These were the heady days of the Honda Cub C50 and the business boomed through the mid-sixties. However by the end of the decade things weren’t so rosy for the industry in general and, in an attempt to keep up with the times, the shop was re-branded as ‘Two Wheel Happening’ with Pepsi-Cola on tap, mood lighting, dolly girls and loud music.
Jack diversified into cars and set up a 4 wheel dealership in Maybury Road leaving two of his mechanics, Maurice and Bob to take over the Continental Motorcycles name. In April 1971 they moved the business from Chertsey Road to it’s current location, a former fresh fish and game shop, in Goldsworth Road. Here they continued their workshop service and traded used scooters and motorcycles. Fortunately the industry was starting to recover and business boomed once again. They began selling new machines becoming agents for Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki. At one point they had a double fronted shop, also occupying a showroom area where the KwikFit car park now stands.
Over the years the main focus became Honda and Yamaha. The store continued to service bikes and scooters and Maurice and Bob began to focus more on Honda and Yamaha. The Workshop at the back of the property was extended. Lots of the smaller shops along Goldsworth road shut their doors permanently but Continental still motored on.
By the year 2000 Continental had settled on selling only New Yamahas and so changed its name to the name we trade with to this day Woking Yamaha Centre. Maurice and Bob retired in 2002 when the business was bought by Bill Hailstone and the current chapter began. Bill’s background was in retail and he had always been a keen motorcyclist. As director of Woking Yamaha he has managed to combine business with pleasure. In 2009 we celebrated our 50th birthday. Woking Yamaha also became a premier exclusive Yamaha dealer making the company completely committed to the Yamaha idea
Under Bill’s stewardship, Woking Yamaha went from strength to strength culminating in 2008 when Bill was flown out to Japan to be awarded for being one of Britain’s best Yamaha dealerships. This was despite the 2008 financial crash making things more difficult for the industry as a whole.
In 2016 the site was significantly expanded again as Woking Yamaha Centre purchased the fishing shop next door. Now the company had a much larger area to showcase the Yamaha range as well as an increased area to showcase used bikes and scooters.
77 Goldsworth Road c 1924 when W. P. Seaman sold game and wet fish.
Bikes & Cars
Here’s an early advert from the days when the Honda C50 was a new concept!